Part two of the ‘Twitter Files’ drops, revealing ‘Secret Blacklists’

by Summer Lane

Photo: Alamy

Part Two of Elon Musk’s “Twitter Files” information drop shocked the nation on Thursday night, revealing evidence of shadowbanning and suppression of conservative accounts, vindicating those claiming that the Big Tech giant has historically been less than transparent about its censorship policies.

Musk, who recently purchased the social media platform in 2022, shared a thread from the founder and editor of The Free Press, Bari Weiss, captioning it, “The Twitter Files, Part Deux!!” Musk included two popcorn emojis along with the caption, indicating that the information was likely going to be dramatic.

Weiss titled her long series of tweets, “THREAD: THE TWITTER FILES PART TWO. TWITTER’S SECRET BLACKLISTS.”

Weiss began her thread with an attention-grabbing statement: “1. A new #TwitterFiles investigation reveals that teams of Twitter employees build blacklists, prevent disfavored tweets from trending, and actively limit the visibility of entire accounts or even trending topics—all in secret, without informing users.”

Per her narrative, accounts from prominent figures like Stanford’s Dr. Jay Bhattacharya and Dan Bongino were placed on a “blacklist.” For Dr. Bhattacharya, this blacklist “prevented his tweets from trending,” while Bongino’s account was “slapped with a ‘Search Blacklist.’”

Another example: Turning Point USA founder and president Charlie Kirk was marked with a “Do Not Amplify” label.

“…What many people call ‘shadow banning,’ Twitter executives and employees call ‘Visibility Filtering’ or ‘VF,’” Weiss explained. “Multiple high-level sources confirmed its meaning.”

She further expanded on the topic of “Visibility Filtering.”

“…’VF’ refers to Twitter’s control over user visibility. It used VF to block searches of individual users; to limit the scope of a particular tweet’s discoverability; to block select users’ posts from ever appearing on the ‘trending’ page; and from inclusion in hashtag searches,” she continued.

Per Weiss, the group that decided on “whether to limit the reach of certain users” was called the Strategic Response Team, the Global Escalation Team, or SRT-GET. “It often handled up to 200 ‘cases’ a day,” she said.

Yet another secret group existed “beyond official ticketing,” called the “Site Integrity Policy, Policy Escalation Support, known as ‘SIP-PES.'”

Former Head of Legal, Policy and Trust Vijaya Gadde, former Global Head of Trust and Safety Yoel Roth and former CEOs Jack Dorsey and Parag Agrawal were named by Weiss as allegedly being part of this “secret group.”

The “Twitter Files” seems to eviscerate Dorsey’s prior claim that “we don’t shadow ban, and we certainly don’t shadow ban based on political viewpoints,” per conservative filmmaker Dinesh D’Souza.

In the wake of the data drop from “Twitter Files” Part Two, Musk tweeted, “Twitter is working on a software update that will show your true account status, so you know clearly if you’ve been shadowbanned, the reason why and how to appeal.”

He added, “Truth brings reconciliation[.]”

The full, extensive “Twitter Files” thread from Thursday night.

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